• Thanks to the more than 400 Secular Carmelites
    and Carmelite Friars who attended the 2018 Congress!


    You can purchase CDs, MP3s and DVDs of all 2018 OCDS Congress talks and homilies.


    The 2019 OCDS Congress will be held June 20-23, 2019 in Ontario, California.

    It is hosted by the California-Arizona Province. Hope to see you there!

  • The 2018 OCDS Congress was held from Thursday, Oct. 18 to Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018 at the Polaris Hilton in Columbus, Ohio​

    The Congress began at 7 pm on Thursday, Oct. 18 and ended at noon on Sunday, Oct. 21.

    Each year, more than 300 Secular Carmelites gather for three days of prayer, reflection, learning and recreation, during a truly one-of-a-kind event. The OCDS Congress is part pilgrimage, part retreat, part formation and part family reunion. Many have said that it was when attending an OCDS Congress that they first felt part of the larger Carmelite order. The 2018 OCDS Congress will begin the evening of Thursday, October 18 and end at noon on Sunday, October 21 and include:

    • Inspirational presentations by Carmelite friars and Secular Carmelites
    • Praying the Divine Office with hundreds of Seculars (truly a moving experience)
    • Daily Mass with Carmelite friars and the local Bishop
    • Wonderful meals and receptions with the opportunity to meet other Seculars from across the country
    • Recreation activities, such as morning walks/runs 
    • An adoration chapel in the hotel for quiet prayer and reflection
    • A  vendor area, including a large display of books from ICS Publications, with the chance to purchase many Carmelite items
    • Raffles and door prizes
    • An incredible banquet dinner


    Incredible door prize:

    A trip for two to Avila, Spain on 206 Tours!

    Each Congress attendee will automatically be entered in the door prize drawing.

    One Congress attendee will win a trip for two to Avila, Spain on 206 Tours! The Carmelite Experience in Spain is a 13-day pilgrimage that visits:

    • Segovia, the town where Saint John of the Cross is buried
    • The crypt of La Santa Convent, built on the site of the house where St. Teresa of Avila was born 
    • La Encarnacion Convent, where St. Theresa became a nun and home to the most comprehensive museum dedicated to her life
    • The Cathedral and the Cuatro Postes (four columns) which commemorates St. Teresa, who at the age of seven convinced his brother to run away with her to die as martyrs in the land of the Moors
    • Alba de Tormes, where Saint Theresa died in 1582 and where she is buried
    • Salamanca, where Saint John of the Cross studied Theology and was ordained priest and where Santa Teresa founded the Carmelite Convent in 1570
    • and much more!
  • Congress theme

    It is time to walk (es tiempo de caminar) was the theme of the 91st General Chapter of the Discalced Carmelites, Avila of Saint Teresa, May 2015. The theme is a call to action for both the contemplative and apostolic life. "It is time" provides a sense of urgency while "to walk" offers both a symbolic and literal sense of following God’s call through our call to Carmel.


    As Superior General Fr. Saverio Cannistrà has said, “We cannot stay still; we cannot allow ourselves to be blocked by fears or false security. We have to begin a journey through the Church and today's world placing our trust and hope not in ourselves, but in the Lord who has promised to walk with us. It is time to walk, to be underway."

  • What is the Discalced Carmelite Secular Order?

    Discalced Carmelite Seculars are members of the Carmelite family of the 16th-century reform of St. Teresa of Jesus. Discalced means shoeless. St. Teresa's followers wore sandals rather than shoes, a practice which distinguished them from Carmelites of the Ancient Observance. These followers are present in the modern world as friars, enclosed nuns, and Seculars.


    Discalced Carmelite Seculars come from all walks of life, from every level of education and from every type of work. They are Catholic laypersons over the age of 18 (married or unmarried) or ordained diocesan priests or deacons.


    There are more than 45,000 Discalced Carmelite Seculars worldwide and more than 6,000 in the United States. They gather in canonically erected communities or recognized study groups under the guidance and leadership of the order. Find an OCDS community near you.


  • 2018 Congress Prayer

    Most Holy Trinity,


    You have called us to Carmel,

    and now bid us walk with Holy Mother Teresa,

    and all the Carmelite saints,

    with love and determination.


    We ask, through the intercession

    of Our Lady of Mount Carmel,

    to be thoroughly transformed by your grace

    until we love and do Your holy will.


    Make us strong in prayer

    and in our love for one another.

    Infuse us with the Holy Spirit

    and wake us from our slumber.


    Speak through us to our world,

    and enflame us with zeal

    to continue on the way of perfection

    and persevere through every obstacle.


    May we be filled anew with the grace of Carmel,

    strengthened by prayer and knowledge

    and by our encounters with each other

    —for it is time to walk.

  • Questions? Contact us.

    Map of Polaris Hilton

    8700 Lyra Drive
    Columbus, OH 43240